Kentucky health cabinet grilled over child death reports

In February of last year, 9-year-old Amy Dye was found dead in Todd County. A relative was later arrested, but little else was released by the Ky. Cabinet for Families and Children, and some newspapers filed a lawsuit. Today the attorney who fought on behalf of the press talked about the case before lawmakers.

"There is clearly a culture of secrecy, done in the name of protecting children," said John Fleischaker, who represents the Kentucky Press Association. He spoke before lawmakers in the Senate Health and Welfare committee.

Lawmakers were told of how the Cabinet first said no records existed in the Amy Dye case, then pages of records were brought to court but the press and media were told they couldn't look at them.

"This cabinet does not live by the rules, it makes up the rules," said Fleischaker.

The chairwoman of the health and welfare committee had some pretty strong words for the health cabinet, saying there is a serious lack of accountability.

Senator Julie Denton questioned why the cabinet is investigating certain providers, causing some to shut down, and as she claims..leaving children to suffer.

"Once again we can't get the information because they won't tell us. There is no transparency in this cabinet and children are suffering for it," said Denton, R-Louisville.

Denton says the child deaths and provider problems signal a need for change in the cabinet.

"Why does this cabinet not understand that children's lives are at stake and they need to stop screwing around?" asked Denton.

Little was said on behalf the cabinet in the committee, other than they are working to resolve problems that some providers are having in receiving payments.

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